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North East revealed as top place for female entrepreneurs

New research has revealed how the North East of England leads the way when it comes to nurturing female-led startups, being the most supportive location for entrepreneurs.

The study from Sage revealed regional variations in terms of the level of support and readiness felt by women entrepreneurs across the country, with 81% of female entrepreneurs in the North East reporting feeling supported as they embarked on their business ventures, and 69% of them highlighting their ability to manage the delicate balance between work and life commitments.

This compared to 66% of women across the country who said they felt supported when starting up and 61% who said they felt they had been successful at managing their work-life balance as an entrepreneur, clearly showing the North East as above the national average.

The North East also scored favourably in other aspects of the overall ranking, including the low cost of office space and the smaller gender pay gap.

When it comes to the motivations behind starting a business for regions across England, the study found that women were more inclined to initiate their entrepreneurial journey seeking flexibility and improved work-life balance, with 51% of female entrepreneurs citing these as primary reasons. On the other hand, the top reason for men entering the business world was the pursuit of financial opportunities, as indicated by 48% of male entrepreneurs.

While a majority of both male and female business owners expressed a sense of readiness when launching their startups in terms of skills and knowledge, a notable portion still said they felt unprepared. Around 27% of women and 23% of men admitted to not feeling completely ready for the challenges they encountered, and 97% of all entrepreneurs acknowledged the need to continually develop and enhance various skills to effectively run their businesses.

The research highlighted key areas where women entrepreneurs encountered more challenges compared to their male counterparts. Struggles encompassed profitability (77%), work-life balance (72%), environmental sustainability (65%), cost minimization (71%), financial management (74%), tax understanding (75%), and technology adoption (69%).

In terms of confidence for future success, women entrepreneurs demonstrated remarkable self-assurance in several key areas compared to men. The survey indicated that women were more optimistic about achieving the following within the next 12 months:

  1. Increasing profitability (68% vs. 67%)

  2. Expanding brand awareness (67% vs. 64%)

  3. Enhancing customer satisfaction (74% vs. 72%)

  4. Boosting sales (66% vs. 61%)

  5. Pursuing environmental sustainability (61% vs. 53%)

Another significant finding was that a higher percentage of women (12%) reported not accessing any funding resources or options during their startup phase, in contrast to 6% of men. Moreover, the study revealed that women often felt a lack of support from various quarters, including financial assistance, governmental and local council support, trade organisations, and industry networks.

You can read more about the study from Sage here:


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